Pain,wave after wave unending,bones broken,cuts deep enough to need stitching,throats covered with tiny blisters,temperatures rising to the point of deliriam,cough so ragged it hurts the hearer.
Only the youngest give way to tears,a relief that most understand and yet know they no longer do any good,only the rage held within carries forward a People so confused and hurting.
Fever burns away clear thought,swollen eyes,lips,legs,and arms,infections that need attention,yet we dare not speak as their answer is either laughter or the burning brand laid against it.
All day long we stumble forward,our hearts breaking as our children whimper,looking down we simply follow their bloodied footprints in the snow before us,this is the cost of betrayal.
Night falls as do we,tumble down to our knees,too weak and tired to build a fire,but someone must or the little ones will not survive the cold,how I wonder have we made it this far?
We thank Creator for the lives that continue,we ask that those who did not are safe on their journey,together we shed tears for the hurts our children suffer,and try our best to give comfort.
My throat burns each time I swallow,streaks of violent pain race through my ears,hot and dry my skin feels yet I shiver until my teeth chatter,my neck feels stiff,and my jaws frozen.
And yet how could I complain,next to me lies a warrior who will need his leg removed if he is to live and we know that will not happen,his family mourns already,though he smiles to reassure them.
At each fire a little flour and grease is handed out,a little meal or grits,this is our food for the day,and the children are starving,a bite or two for each,just enough to survive another day.
Three times I burn my hands,trying to see through the dizzy spells,trying to remember why we are here,and why there was nothing gathered for a meal,no meat,no greens.
On the wind comes the scent of roasting meat,laughter from where the soldiers are gathered,waiting for their supper,of beans,meat,and potatoes,my heart nearly stops as I see a small one crawling toward them.
No more than one year could the child be,laughing a soldier tossed him the bone from a chicken leg,the boss soldier shouted NO,and kicked the child,then as we watched he sic'ed the dogs on him.
There was nothing left but blood and bone,of that precious little one,the soldier boy was whipped,to teach him well to never feel human emotions for those filthy redskins,just one slip he said and they will kill you where you stand.
So much hatred,so much misunderstanding,so much hurt for no good reason,so many good hearts bleeding,how will we ever come together on equal footing,speak good words and teach each other?
How can we ever make the others understand how far we have come,how long we were held down,our voices and stories outlawed,in this land built on lies,blood,and pain?